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Varicose Veins

When I was a kid, I remember seeing one of our neighbours—a woman about the same age as my mom—wearing shorts that revealed greenish-blue, ropy, swollen veins in her lower legs. 

Looking back, I’m impressed that she apparently didn’t feel the need to cover up what I now know are called varicose veins.

What I didn’t realize at the time, however, was that varicose veins aren’t a purely cosmetic problem. They can cause symptoms that can seriously compromise an individual’s quality of life.

For instance, Calgary resident Dolly Ablitt, now 58, used to experience ‘a restless aching that happens when you go to bed, that goes and on and keeps you awake.’

Thankfully, treatment for varicose veins has improved immensely in the last decade or so.

So what are varicose veins? And what are the available options for treating them?

You can learn the answers to those questions and more in my most recent health feature for Good Times magazine on varicose veins. Read it here.

A big thank-you to the interviewees who so generously shared their time and expertise:

  • Dolly Ablitt, of Calgary, Alta.
  • Dr. Janna Bentley, medical director of Lakeshore Vein & Aesthetics Clinic Inc., in Kelowna, BC. 
  • Dr. John Harlock, associate professor, division head, vascular surgeon and clinical head of service, Division of Vascular Surgery, Hamilton Health Sciences Centre and McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont. Dr. Harlock is also past-president of the Canadian Society for Vascular Surgery.
  • Dr. Douglas Hill at the Vein Treatment Centre in Calgary, Alta., and president of the Canadian Society of Phlebology.


Image by moritz320 Courtesy of Pixabay